Colombia shock Germany, co-hosts NZ crash out at WC

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Colombia stunned Germany 2-1 at the death to create the biggest upset so far at the women's World Cup on Sunday, after New New Zealand became the first-ever host nation to bow out in the group stage.

Manuela Vanegas headed home off a corner kick in the seventh minute of stoppage time in Sydney to end Germany's unbeaten group stage run at the global tournament after 20 matches and 28 years.

Germany thought they had salavaged a draw when captain Alexandra Popp converted an 89th-minute penalty which cancelled out Colombia's 52nd-minute lead from their star forward Linda Caicedo.

While Germany's chances of reaching the knock-out stages remain intact, the tournament is over for New Zealand as they had to settle for a 0-0 draw against Switzerland, who advanced alongside Norway who thrashed the Philippines 6-0 with the help of a Sophie Haug hat-trick.

Germany's defeat was not the only surprise result in Group H because Morocco got a famous first-ever World Cup win, 1-0 over South Korea.

Coming off a 6-0 triumph over Morocco, Germany faced a much sterner test against robust Colombia, and Popp wasted the best first-half chance when she volleyed wide.

Colombia took the lead when a blocked shot fell to Real Madrid forward Caicedo who moved away from a defender and curled into the top right corner.

Caicedo, who was playing despite collapsing on the training pitch on Thursday, almost wrapped up matters in the 85th but Germany then hit back.

Lena Oberdorf was brought down by Catalina Perez, and Popp calmly beat the goalkeeper down the middle from the spot in the 89th — but it was to no avail as Colombia then stole victory after all from Vanegas' header into the bottom right corner.

"It is maga bitter to lose through a dead ball situation," Popp told broadcasters ZDF. "We controlled the game but didn't manage a second after equalizing. We lacked courage in front of goal."

Coach Martina Voss-Tecklenburg said "it was all a little hectic" but vowed that "we want to win the next game and reach the last 16."

Colombia moved to the top of Group H with a maximum six points and are well-placed to reach the last 16. Germany and Morocco have three each, with Germany's goal difference vastly superior. South Korea have zero ahead of their final game on Thursday against Germany, while Colombia play Morocco.

Ibtissam Jraidi scored in the sixth minute to make history for Morocco with their first ever goal and win at the World Cup. In addition, team-mate Nouhaila Benzina became the first player to compete in a Muslin head scarf, a hijab, at a World Cup match.

"We are just so pleased our efforts have paid off. This victory is for Morocco and Arabs, it's the fruit of our hard work," Jraidi said.

The Swiss meanwhile finished top of Group A without conceding a goal to reach the last 16 as in 2015. Norway and New Zealand were one point behind, with the Scandinavians advancing on goal difference over the Football Ferns who were eliminated along with the Philippines.

New Zealand needed a victory against the Swiss but chances were sparse in front of 45,000 in Dunedin, and Jacqui Hand was denied by the post from a tight angle after a long ball from Katie Bowen.

The hosts threw all players forward in the closing stages, including goalkeeper Victoria Esson who headed well wide in stoppage time.

"It was an emotional moment for everybody in the team. We wanted to win this game. We knew if we win, we would go through. The result unfortunately didn't go our way," New Zealand coach Jitka Klimkova said.

Norway finally got on the scoreboard when it mattered after looking into the abyss following a shock opening 1-0 loss to New Zealand and a meagre 0-0 against the Swiss.

Haug volleyed the opener six minutes into the game at the far post, doubled the lead 11 minutes later with a looping header and wrapped up matters with another header in stoppage time.

Caroline Graham Hansen, an own goal from Alicia Barker in the 48th, and Guro Reiten's penalty further hurt the Philippines who also had Sofia Harrison was red-carded for a reckless tackle against Thea Bjelde, less than 10 minutes after coming on during the second half.

Norway will now play the winner of Group C, either former champions Japan or Spain, in the last 16 on Saturday in Wellington. The Swiss play the Group C runner-up the same day in Auckland.

  •  Women’s WC


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